Modern weddings are packed with carnival stations, passed bar foods, craft brews, and even breakfast. But we understand not everyone seeks a non-traditional, innovative, “fun foodie” reception, particularly if you’re opting for a classic, elegant affair. And in fact, for many groups, a traditional plated dinner is more appropriate (think lots of older guests or a long list of formalities to tackle).
So how does one serve a plated meal that won’t leave guests pushing food around with their forks and asking when the bar re-opens? Here are three steps:
1. Serve something creative. You don’t have to be standing or pulling food from a station to enjoy something a little different. Incorporate your roots and personal preferences, serving dishes such as ahi tuna, ceviche, spiced pumpkin soup, ravioli or even paella as a first course. No one will miss the salad greens, and a duo main course will ensure even the most discerning guest has plenty of options to fill up on. Even side dishes can be unexpected yet refined, such as parsnip puree in lieu of potatoes, or a root vegetable medley instead of haricot verts or broccolini.
2. Don’t serve something too heavy. Your guests shouldn’t be coming to your wedding for the steak dinner, so don’t feel pressured to serve “steak or chicken”. Fish options, especially in duo entrée, are delicate and light, and won’t weigh down the guests when it’s dancing time. And if beef is a must, elect for a very thinly sliced sirloin or short rib, instead of an 8oz filet.
3. Offer wine/beverage service. If you want your guests to stay in their seats, bring the drinks to them. Otherwise, the staff will be serving to half-empty tables.
Work with your caterer at the time of your tasting to ensure your priorities of presentation and style translate onto the plates, and that the length of the dinner service fits reasonably into your timeline. Then Bon Appetit!